- Associated Press - Thursday, July 7, 2016

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) - A Massachusetts man charged with beating his mother to death and neglecting his siblings with mental disabilities has pleaded not guilty.

Fifty-six-year-old Antonio Branco was arraigned Wednesday in Fall River on charges of murder, assault and battery and neglect. He was ordered held without bail.

Prosecutors say police were contacted after Branco’s mother, 78-year-old Maria Branco, was hospitalized on April 9 with wounds to her back, shoulders, buttocks, knees and ankles. She died from her injuries April 13.

Police who responded to the family’s home in Fall River found Branco’s adult sisters locked inside. Police say the women were injured and one woman told police that her brother beat them.

Branco’s lawyer denied the charges and says his client’s father was responsible. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Aug. 12.

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